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Iran says oil investments strong

Nov. 1, 2012 at 6:57 AM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Iranian investments in the national oil sector should reach $40 billion by the end of the Iranian calendar year next March, the country's oil minister said.

An October assessment from the International Energy Agency said that Iranian oil exports fell from 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 to 860,000 bpd in September, suggesting U.S. and European sanctions were taking a toll on the Iranian energy sector.

Nevertheless, the country's oil minister said production and investment targets were progressing under the terms of a five-year development plan.

"Despite recent pressures to impose ban on Iran's oil, we have managed to get around these obstacles by making certain preparations," Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV quoted Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi.

Under a development plan that ends March 2015, the country aims to produce as much as 5.5 million barrels per day of oil and 49 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, Qasemi said.

The U.S. and European governments tightened sanctions on Iran last summer. Protesters last month took to the streets of Tehran after the national currency collapsed.

Iranian officials last week backed away from threats to close oil shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz, saying the waterway was separate from sanctions issues.

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